Following recent rounds of Social Partnership talks, the private sector says it is pleased with progress being made by Government to address the vexing issue of business facilitation.
However, while indicating that the business community would be doing all it could to help speed up the process, Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Edward Clarke is cautioning that changes will not take place “overnight”.
Representatives of the tripartite Social Partnership arrangement – labour movement, Government and the private sector – recently had closed door meetings to discuss a range of national issues from doing business, appointments of public servants and public sector reform.
Clarke said he was satisfied that a lot of work had gone into trying to reform state-owned entities and “trying to ensure that we transform how things are being done in Barbados”.
However, he warned that there was still a lot of work to be done.
“People are expecting things to happen overnight but you cannot correct systemic problems overnight. These things take time,” he said.
“We have to transform how we do business. Certainly the ease of doing business is a general target of the Social Partnership to try and improve in that area wherever we can, to pick the low-hanging fruit and fix them quickly, but there are some systemic issues that have to be addressed and the Prime Minister and the Government have set certain targets and we are working with them to try and achieve these targets,” said Clarke.
He said one of those targets was getting public sector employees to adapt to new technology to make doing business in Barbados easier.
“In Barbados we have a lot of methods and processes of doing things because it was done so for the last 25 years, and we need to move away from that and try to look at improving how we do business. I think the Government has started to do that, rightfully so, and we are going to work with them to try and achieve the targets that are being set,” he said.
The BPSA head said while the transformation targets set by Government under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme were “very aggressive”, he was pleased that several committees have been established to help in the process.
“So wherever the private sector can help we are going to work with Government and the labour unions to resolve the issues,” said Clarke. [email protected]